Police Believe Suspects in Illinois Cop's Killing Are Familiar With Area

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By Phil Helsel

Investigators in Illinois have found a deer camera in a wooded area near where a police officer was fatally shot on Tuesday, and are hoping that will give them clues as to the officer’s killers, authorities said Wednesday.

A manhunt for three people wanted in connection with the death of Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz continued for a second day Wednesday.

Gliniewicz, a 30-year veteran of the force, was found fatally shot in a swampy area near an old cement plant after pursuing three people, at around 8 a.m. Tuesday, police said. Authorities believe whoever killed the officer knows the area, which is off of a gravel road and somewhat remote.

"If you’re not familiar with it, if you’re just somebody new to the area, you probably wouldn’t even know it’s there," George Filenko, commander of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, said.

"Obviously they got out of the area in spite of the intense search yesterday, so that also leads me to believe that they were familiar with perhaps some paths or trails within that immediate area," he said.

Hundreds of police, as well as dogs and aircraft, searched a two square mile area near where Gliniewicz was killed for 14 hours Tuesday before releasing the perimeter.

Late Wednesday, Lake County sheriff's deputies responded to a report of two suspicious individuals in a corn field about five miles south of Fox Lake near the town of Volo.

"Nobody on the scene has seen these individuals," Lake County Sheriff's Det. Christopher Covelli said. "Air support and K-9 support has been called into the scene and there is a systematic search going on right now."

"As of this time there's no evidence that it's in any way connected to the Fox Lake incident," Covelli added.

The deer camera found in the wooded area has a memory card in it and police will be examining it for clues, Filenko said. Police have also obtained surveillance video from a nearby industrial area and homes.

Authorities urged anyone seeing anything suspicious to call police. Area schools that closed Wednesday amid the manhunt will reopen Thursday. Police said they are increasing patrols.

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In police radio transmission recordings confirmed by authorities, Gliniewicz said, "I'm going to be out checking the old concrete plant checking on two male whites, a male black." And he says later, "they took off toward the swamp."

Asked whether he needed a second unit, Gliniewicz responded, "Go ahead and start somebody," according to the recording.

Authorities said the call for backup was made at 7:55 a.m. and backup arrived at 8:01 a.m. Gliniewicz was discovered with a gunshot wound eight minutes later and he died at the scene, police said.

Fox Lake is a village of around 10,000 people about 55 miles north of Chicago.

FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 02: Police search in and around an apartment building near the defunct cement plant where Lt. Joe Gliniewicz was killed as they continue to follow leads into his murder on September 2, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. Gliniewicz, a Fox Lake police officer, was shot and killed yesterday during a foot chase with three suspects. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)Scott Olson / Getty Images
Shamar Walters contributed.